Woodland Caribou: Steven Guilbeault confident of reaching an agreement with Quebec

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Woodland caribou: Steven Guilbeault confident of reaching an agreement with Quebec

Environment Ministers Steven Guilbeault and Benoit Charette participated in a press conference in Tadoussac.

The federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, is confident of obtaining an agreement with the Government of Quebec by June to protect the habitat of woodland caribou.

He took part in an announcement on Friday concerning the possible expansion of the Saguenay-Saint-Laurent Marine Park in the company of the Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, Benoit Charette.

Steven Guilbeault speaks of a climate of collaboration between him and his counterpart Benoit Charette who spoke on Thursday of modulating the caribou protection plan according to the regions.

We are going to work together so that by June we have a caribou plan, a joint plan, one of the goals of which [would be] to protect 65% of the habitat. And 65% is not a number that was pulled out of a hat. This is what the scientists, the biologists, are asking us to do to allow the species to recover. And the other element is that we will do this in collaboration with the Aboriginal peoples in Quebec, elaborated Minister Guilbeault, referring in particular to the maximum disturbance rate of 35%.< /p>

Ministers Steven Guilbeault and Benoit Charette's conference focused on the possible expansion of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.

It was in June that Quebec finally had to table its new caribou protection plan, which had been delayed to make way for the Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou. In early February, Steven Guilbeault continued a process already begun by recommending that the Council of Ministers intervene by decree to protect the endangered species in Quebec. Previously, an agreement had been reached between the two levels in August 2022, without however any concrete measures announced.

Our teams work very well together. We have an excellent collaboration, Benoît and I too, so I am confident that we will succeed in having this agreement for the month of June, continued Steven Guilbeault.

Recall that the most recent inventories published by Quebec show that the decline of several herds continues.

In Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the forestry industry claims that the plan Quebec is preparing would cost 2,000 jobs in the region. Meetings were also held to this effect in January, when several elected officials from Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and the Côte-Nord had been summoned, to be made aware of the issue.

Of course we are concerned about the economic impacts, the measures that we are going to put in place, but I think we also have to see, and I think the region here is a good example of that. , that conservation is a driver of economic development, is a driver of jobs, is a driver of regional vitality. So I think for some people, conservation is, “Oh my God, we can't do anything anymore,” when that's not the case at all, said the federal minister.< /p>

Much like Benoit Charette said on Thursday, Minister Guilbeault does not seem overly concerned about the revelations about the purchaser of Resolute Forest Products.

The Consortium international investigative journalists, of which Radio-Canada is a member, revealed Thursday that the company Papier Excellence, based in British Columbia, has very close ties with an Asian forestry company whose practices are often decried. /p>

Steven Guilbeault maintains that no matter who owns a business, it must respect Canadian laws.

Kénogami Resolute Forest Products plant.

It should be understood that the federal government imposed measures and requirements in the context of this transaction, with regard to maintaining jobs, for example, and to the maintenance of jobs. resource use. On the other hand, regardless of who owns that business, the business is going to have to comply with the laws and regulations of Canada. This is not the first time a multinational has bought a company in Canada in the forestry sector or elsewhere and Canadian laws will continue to apply regardless of who owns it, a- he replied.

With information from Myriam Gauthier and Michel Gaudreau

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